We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Alvarado and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, why did you pursue a creative career?
Art has always been a part of me. Since as young as I can remember I loved using my hands, whether that was to draw, paint, or build. I would use scraps of things I found to make new things and those creations usually lead to more creative versions. I loved to draw people and explore the details of their physical being to put on paper. All those crafts and creative passions lead me to photography. In photography I get to carry over those passions I had as a child and turn them into real life! I get to build and put together the scene I want and capture those moments and details with my camera now. I get to use my hands in every bit of what I do and leave a touch of who I am in them. I love that it’s still part of my inner child that got to travel to my adult life and I thoroughly enjoy it!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What I love about my work is that I get to express myself in everything I do. I get to build the vision and capture it and turn my art into a forever keepsakes. I treasure that these families pick me to give them something that will be around for generations and that they are allowing me to do what I love. I love the process of putting together the vision. Working with clients to achieve a specific look and then seeing them overjoyed or in tears at the end result is so magical! Everyone deserves to have these memories! I think this process of building things myself and not having to solely rely on someone else helps me bring something different. I’m able to envision, physically draw out characters or designs and piece them together and offer my clients something that everyone else doesn’t already have.
It definitely has taken lots of hard work, long hours, and physical labor to get to any kind of growth. Every bit of the climb requires so much of you, and as an entrepreneur himself, I know that’s why my dad pushed us to do what we love. If you don’t love it, it eventually becomes a chore. When you have a passion for it, the hard work seems a lot more worth it and quitting doesn’t come so easy because you know where you want to be. Loving it allows you to find joy in your journey even when it’s tough. Then you get to that end result that cost so much but you achieved what you wanted and that feeds the next leg of the race.
Now, everything isn’t flowers and rainbows. There definitely have been trying times that made me question if this was still worth doing or if I made the right decision to pursue photography. I have had to wear all the hats the job demands, take financial risks that sometimes didn’t work out, and sacrifice so much time from family, and friends. You learn taking a break is necessary for mental health, and you also learn sometimes you gotta buckle down and go hard to hit that goal. It’s one of the biggest balancing acts life has for us. Thankfully, I have had amazing people around me who lend a hand when it’s needed, many to go to for advice, and a supportive community of photographers or other creatives. It’s so important to explore and find other people with your passions and ambitions that can help you navigate through the trenches they’ve already been through or help us see our mistakes so we can make better decisions the next go around. Having a support system that also just understands you and your frustration or your excitement goes a long way. I’ve learned so much from trial and error but also from others rooting for me. You have to learn how to receive critique, you have to learn to accept mistakes and try and try and try again. You learn how to balance judgement with your head and your heart. You learn that every bad moment isn’t always personal, so work through it and move on. You learn that sometimes others don’t have your best interest in mind so you figure it out and carry on. Sometimes, you even have to unlearn things to get somewhere better because “everything your momma taught you a’int true!”
I hope that while I’m on the journey, I can give back to others on their way just like those that have helped me. I want to build an empire that allows opportunities for others and feeds creative’s passions as they start their journey to their dreams. Drealynn Photography isn’t just about the photos. I want Drealynn Photography to lead towards a legacy that emphasizes that the journey is never ending and the journey is the most important part. The journey touches and has the ability to impact so much more than just you. So when people impact the world through their journeys, whether that be a new mom bringing the next being into the world or a rapper giving testimony to his life, I then get to capture that moment on my journey to feed the next.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love Dallas, and the diversity it has to offer. A must see is the art and food scene in Deep Ellum. Deep Ellum has stunning murals around almost every corner and the streets are lined with cute shops, galleries, concerts and plenty of places to eat. You can dine in, dine out, stroll through just for a sweet treat, or even stop by curbside for tacos. The Dallas skyline is one for the books (maybe I’m a little biased)! For a sweet view of the skyline the Margaret Hunthill Bridge does not disappoint and just in walking distance is Trinity Grove where you can enjoy all sorts of food options like burgers, barbecue, Italian, and Asian cuisine. A little of everything wouldn’t hurt!
Another sweet food spot is Nubia’s Drive Thru! It’s a whole in the wall type of place that is worth adventuring to. Nubia’s offers a variety of Mexican favorites and mouth watering drinks and treats! Mangonadas and Birria Tacos are some of my favs! While you’re in that neck of the woods, I would make a stop at the Dallas Arboretum for a photo-op. Year round they have stunning gardens that make for gorgeous photos and are a popular place for events. My favorite time to visit is in the fall. The walkways are overflowing with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes and as if that wasn’t already a site to see, the Pumpkin Village takes it over the top!
Just southwest of Dallas is the Arlington Entertainment District, which is home to the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers. Just a little further south is the Arlington Highlands. It’s a treasure for a girls day out or a causal night scene after a game. You can eat, shop, dance, and eat again. You can have dinner and a movie or enjoy a drink and wings at Pluckers. You can enjoy time with family or friends at an arcade and let’s not forget the Comedy Club if you’re in need of a pick me up!
Also, located in Arlington is Free Play arcade! It’s a super fun place for kids and adults, however, adults get their time to shine once the sun goes down. It’s the perfect way to end a night out!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family, specifically my parents, have been my biggest support system. They have always encouraged me to do what I love and know that I didn’t have to settle. As a matter of fact, my dad stressed doing something that I was passionate about, so that going to a job didn’t have to feel like work but rather be a place I want to be. When I was unsure about pursuing photography in college, my mom gave me the biggest push and encouraged the chance at something great! Both my parents also contributed financially to help execute so much! They would problem solve with me when I wouldn’t let an idea go, and they would take the time to help me put together those crazy ideas. They helped me build what I have today, and set me up with the best chance to thrive. I can’t thank them enough for their time, their love, and their effort. I am forever grateful to them for helping me get here and for nurturing my passions.
My boyfriend has also been all you can ask for in a partner. As a creative himself, he continues to feed and encourage my creativity. In the past 4 years he has helped me grow my business, pushed and contributed to the start of a second business, and has poured into me so much knowledge to have continued success and growth. He has loved me through some of my toughest moments in life and helped me pick up the piece to keep going and keep striving to reach each goal. He’s just out here dreaming all my dreams with me and I couldn’t ask for anything more!